HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Teen Beach Movie
Valhalla
Nice Guys, The
Rockers
Sunday Horse, A
Glitter Dome, The
Hardcore Henry
Starship
Freaks of Nature
Victim, The
Green Room
Waiting for Guffman
Insurgent
Four Real Friends
Miles Ahead
3 Fantastic Supermen, The
Tarzan and the Valley of Gold
Mythica: A Quest for Heroes
Young Master, The
Peeper
Legendary Weapons of China
Momentum
Zoolander 2
Fedora
Story of Children and Film, A
Jubal
Fire at Sea
Criminal
I'm Dangerous Tonight
New Centurions, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Born to be Cad: George Sanders and Psychomania
Speed Kills: The History of Fast Zombies
Skeleton Crew: The Blind Dead Movies
The Stars Are Out Tonight: Hollywood Celebrity Casts in the 70s
Super-Irreverent: Deadpool and his Amazing Friends
Made in Britain: Alan Clarke at the BBC
Manor On Movies: Saucy Sexy Spicy Space Sirens
Whicker Ask It: Whicker's World on DVD
Pawn Takes King: The Hunger Games and Death Entertainment
Short Sharp Shocks: Worst Fears on DVD
   
 
  Blood Simple Buy this film here.
Year: 1983
Director: Joel Coen
Stars: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, Samm-Art Williams, M. Emmet Walsh
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  8 (from 5 votes)
Review: It happened one night in 1983. The usual selection of pre-main feature trailers; a guy digging a grave in a field illuminated by headlights; a private investigator blowing smoke rings while spinning a tale of marital infidelity…
Three minutes worth of clips promising murder, intrigue and betrayal. This was my first introduction to the world of the Coen Bros. One week later, I was back to view Blood Simple – their debut feature and, possibly, still their finest hour-and-36.

Here, classic film noir pitches camp in a Texas populated by self-serving characters who guarantee that, whoever comes out on top, good will not triumph! Bar owner Ray (Dan Hedaya) hires private eye Visser (M. Emmet Walsh) to procure photographic evidence of his wife’s affair. Marty (John Getz), a barkeep at Ray’s saloon, becomes one of the targets in a planned double-murder (“I’ve got a job for you. It’s not strictly legal”), but things do not go according to plan as a series of twists and double crosses deliver a white-hot thriller. Abby (Frances McDormand) takes over from her husband and her illicit lover during a terrific final quarter, full of suspense, bloodletting and a tense bout of gunplay which may prompt you to do Dirty Harry-style math on the way to the most wonderful closing line of dialogue and a reprise of the wholly appropriate Four Tops classic.

For a debut feature, this a remarkably assured work, adding some nice comedic touches (Visser’s one-liners, a bungled wife-snatch that anticipates Fargo) to a storyline full of surprises. Quite simply, it’s a joy to see the cast discover information we are already privy to, and then pull the rug from under our feet as Visser moves one step forward and two steps back. Walsh is disgustingly fine as the sleaze-riddled detective, and ably supported by the intense Hedaya (just as scary then as in his memorable turn in Mulholland Drive, some 19 years later) and McDormand who also made her screen debut here, along with her director.

Universal’s DVD presents Blood Simple in its original 1.85:1 ratio, with a nice clean transfer doing full justice to Barry Sonnenfeld’s photography. The presence of an audio commentary track should have served to heighten our knowledge and appreciation of this film but Kenneth Loring (of Forever Young films, apparently) had other ideas. As a send-up on commentaries, Loring is perhaps funny for around five minutes but quickly becomes tedious and remains so (“You may be getting a little bit tired of this lighter by now”). I’m sure folks who spent their hard-earned on this disc would have loved to hear the Coens talk about script development, problems encountered getting their film from story to shooting and casting choices. A pompous viewpoint? Maybe, but surely this film deserves better?
Reviewer: Steve Langton

 

This review has been viewed 3904 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme music?
Superman: The Movie
The Dark Knight
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three ('74)
Star Wars
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Great Escape
Halloween
The Ipcress File
The Magnificent Seven
Back to the Future
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
David Dent
  Arvinder Seehra
  John Kelly
Enoch Sneed
  Karl Weston
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: